First Published: 2012-02-01

 

Indian favourite Radio Mirchi launches in UAE

 

UAE's airwaves will receive spicy makeover with arrival of country's newest radio station, Radio Mirchi.

 

Middle East Online

By Saeed Saeed - Abu Dhabi

Radio Mirchi brand is heavyweight in India

The UAE's airwaves will receive a spicy makeover with the arrival of the country's newest radio station, Radio Mirchi.

Launched today by Abu Dhabi Media (which also owns The National) with its first broadcast at 6am, and a formal ceremony at Emirates Palace later in the day where the Bollywood star Rani Mukherjee made an appearance, Radio Mirchi's reach extends across the UAE.

While it may be a new player in the UAE, the Radio Mirchi brand (Mirchi means "chilli" in Hindi) is a heavyweight in India, with more than 40 million listeners tuning in daily for its energetic mix of Bollywood music and news .

The UAE station manager Sandeep Sud says the station, broadcasting in the Hinglish dialect favoured by south-east Asian youth and expatriates, will bring its trademark energy to the UAE in what is the brand's first foray overseas.

"Mirchi is all about injecting sunshine into our listeners' days," he says. "Our programmes are designed to be full of fun and energy, our attitude is progressive and we endeavour to offer the hottest mix of entertainment and information."

However, Sud says the UAE station will have its own flavour, with local programming hosted by a mix of home-grown and overseas talent.

"We have invested heavily in research, in order for us to fully understand the radio landscape here, and the demand for music, entertainment and news," he says.

"The brand will bring the authentic taste of Desi radio to the UAE."

The local programmes reflect the station's vibrant outlook: Mirchi Morning will feature the best in Indian music spanning a decade, in addition to Bollywood updates.

The Mid-day Mohabbat programme is geared towards homemakers as the announcer and "super-girl" Yachna dispenses quick-fix housing solutions for the home in addition to playing Bollywood hits from the 1990s and spouting trivia.

The Bumper to Bumper programme is in the afternoon drive time slot and will be packed with Bollywood tunes and world news, while Purani Jeans is a late evening broadcast celebrating Bollywood's golden era.

The Purani Jeans host Farhad Hussein says the station's announcers were excited at the prospect of interacting with new listeners.

"We are aiming to be their favourite radio station," he says.

While his show contains Hindlish interviews and trivia, he is confident classic Bollywood tunes could lure Emiratis, citing the growing popularity of Bollywood films.

"Bollywood has no borders. It's as popular in the rest of the subcontinent as it is in India. And my show is about that part of Indian cinema that is best loved - the classics and the evergreen hits," he says.

"I am hoping that my show will have a huge following across many different communities in the UAE."

Radio Mirchi can be heard on 97.3FM for Abu Dhabi, 88.8FM for Dubai and the northern emirates, and 95.6FM for Al Ain listeners.

The National

 

Saudi Arabia vows to cover UN aid appeal for Yemen

'Differences' emerge in Libya peace talks

General Dempsey: Military option on Iran 'intact'

Assad accuses Turkey of torpedoing UN Aleppo truce plan

Iraq massacre site turns into memorial

Iraqi forces kill Hussein deputy in Salahuddin province

Israeli coalition talks approaching deadline

Turkish PM condemns EU resolution on Armenian genocide

Tehran calls for immediate Yemen peace talks

New round of Libya rival talks in Morocco

EU urged to label Israeli West bank products

UN chief calls for immediate Yemen ceasefire

Abadi to Iran: We welcome your help as long as you respect Iraq sovereignty

Anger in Indonesia as Saudi Arabia executes second woman

France jihadist attacks fuel unprecedented rise in Islamophobia

Turkey mine chief: ‘I am not a murderer’

France sees progress in Rafale jet negotiations with UAE

Lebanese TV contempt trial opens at slain Hariri tribunal

Fresh round of Iran nuclear talks April 22-23 in Vienna

Yemen calls on renegade army units to drop support for Huthis

UN envoy condemns Libya air strike as 'unacceptable'

African migrants’ hope of reaching Europe dashed

Armenian senior advisor to Turkish PM retires

Egypt to demolish ousted Mubarak’s party HQ

Slow turnout in Sudan polls

UN peace envoy to Yemen quits

Reconquest of all of Anbar remains out of reach for now

Iran holds Obama 'accountable' for fate of nuclear agreement

Arab coalition mulls large-scale manoeuvre in preparation for ‘ground assault’

Libya appeals for Russia support over arms embargo

Turkey vows to brush off any EU genocide decision

Bashir heads toward widely expected victory with ‘empty ballot boxes’

Rebels in southern Syria reject all forms of cooperation with Qaeda affiliate

21 million children in MENA region at risk of having no education

Two military cadets killed in Egypt bombing

Egypt, Saudi consider holding joint military exercise

Kerry 'confident' US can reach Iran nuclear deal

Libya rival talks in Algiers 'great success'

World powers up pressure on Yemen rebels

HRW cites 'strong' evidence of Syria regime chemical attacks

UN Security Council blacklists Houthi leaders

Egypt court backs deportation of gay foreigners to ‘safeguard morality’

Obama hails 'serious progress' in fight against ‘Islamic State’

Iran to West: Let us take ‘irreversible steps’

UN imposes arms embargo on Yemen Huthi rebels